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Hi all, my name is Justin Tan and I am your newest author! I’m 21 years old and I’m Australia’s 8th Grandmaster. I started chess when I was 10 years old and I’ve been playing 1.e4 ever since! I am an active player, as well as a law student; I consider myself an avid chess analyst :)
This month featured two incredibly prestigious tournaments - the World Junior Championships and the Olympiad; arguably these are the two events in which players are most innovative with their preparation so luckily my first set of games for ChessPublishing contain a bunch of original ideas!

Download PGN of September ’18 1 e4 ... games

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Alekhine’s Defence, Four Pawns Attack mainline 10 Be2 [B03]

In the Four Pawns Attack, following 3 c4 Nb6 4 d4 d6 5 f4 Bf5 6 Nc3 e6 7 Be3 Be7 8 Nf3 0-0 9 Be2 dxe5 10 fxe5 Nc6 11 0-0 f6 12 exf6 Bxf6 13 Qd2 Qe7 14 Rad1 Rad8 15 Qc1 the move 15...e5!?:

is an old idea which can be found in the archives (way back in 2003!). I have made some practical improvements to Watson's lines, inspired by the game Ladron de Guevara Pinto, P - Del Rio de Angelis, S. There were a few noteworthy Alekhine games in the Olympiad - including Karjakin, S v Baburin, A (which ended in a draw) however, I believe our game has the most theoretical value - despite its less prestigious context!

Pirc/Nimzowitsch/150 Attack 5 Be3 Bg7 6 Qd2 [B08]

1...Nc6 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 Nf6 4 Nc3 g6 5 Be3 Bg7 6 Qd2 0-0 7 d5 Nb8 8 Bh6:

The Nimzowitsch is not the most thoroughly analysed defence, yet Ragger comes up with a very concrete plan of action which potentially puts the opening in a small spot of trouble. See the notes to Ragger, M - Kadric, D.

Modern Defence 3 Nf3 d6 4 Bc4 [B06]

Two games in this month's update featured the move 4 Bc4, which is potentially becoming more than just a cop out to the main lines:

4...Nf6 5 Qe2 0-0 6 e5 dxe5 7 dxe5 Nd5 8 0-0 Bg4 9 Rd1 c6 10 Nbd2 Nd7 11 h3 Be6 is an important battleground in this variation. I have analysed a novel idea, 12. Bxd5!? as an alternative to Neiksans' awkward knight move. Either way, Black seems to be holding up. See Neiksans, A - Hjartarson, J.

4...c6 5 0-0 d5 6 Bb3!:

Gives White an edge, though Black is solid as usual - see the notes to Nasuta, G - Petenyi, T.

Caro-Kann Advance, Short Variation 5...c5 6.Be3 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Ne7 8.0-0 Nbc6 9.Bb5 a6 10.Bxc6 Nxc6 11.Nxf5 exf5 [B12]

5...c5 6 Be3 cxd4 7 Nxd4 Ne7 8 0-0 Nbc6 9 Bb5 a6 10 Bxc6+ Nxc6 11 Nxf5 exf5 is a critical position of the Caro-Kann Advance variation these days:

Last month the continuation 12 f4 d4 13 Bf2 Qb6 was examined and now 14.Nd2 was played in Borisek, J v Dreev, A. However, in Lobanov, S - Esipenko, A, White played an alternative mentioned in Jayaram's notes: 14 Qc1 see my analysis to this game.

Caro-Kann Panov Attack 5...Nc6 6 Nf3 Bg4 7 cxd5 Nxd5 8 Qb3 [B13]

2 c4 d5 3 exd5 cxd5 4 d4 Nf6 5 Nc3 Nc6 6 Nf3 Bg4 7 cxd5 Nxd5 8 Qb3 Bxf3 9 gxf3 e6 10 Qxb7 Nxd4 11 Bb5+ Nxb5 12 Qc6+ Ke7 13 Qc5+!?:

This is a spectacular knight sacrifice, which was declined in the game Vavulin, M - Karthik, V. Black's most promising bet was indeed to hold onto the piece, although precise play and knowledge of the defensive methods is required. After the game's 13...Qd6 14.Nxd5 exd5 15. Qxb5, I believe Vavulin got what he wanted - a playable position in which Black's king is slightly less comfortable than White's.

Classical Caro-Kann Defence 4...Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 e6 [B19]

8 Ne5 Bh7 9 Bd3 Bxd3 10 Qxd3 Nd7 11 Bf4!? featured in the high-level game, Sutovsky, E - Shankland, S and has been essayed by a number of strong players recently:

11 f4 is still the main line, but I believe Black is totally fine in the line 11...Be7 12 Bd2 Nxe5 13 fxe5 Bxh4 14 0-0-0 Bxg3 15 Qxg3 Ne7 which has been analysed in the archives. I have added some improvements - see my notes here.

After 11 Bf4 there followed 11...Nxe5 12 Bxe5 Qa5+ 13 c3 Nf6 14 0-0 Ng4 15 Rad1 (15 Rfe1 Nxe5 16 Rxe5 Qc7=) 15...Nxe5 16 dxe5 Rd8 17 Qxd8+ Qxd8 18 Rxd8+ Kxd8 19 Rd1+ Kc7, and now White has various options. The margins between winning and drawing are only small here so he needs to be smart in executing his plans. Incidentally, I discovered that it is ever so slightly more accurate to play 19...Kc8!

Hopefully my notes have been instructive! Till next month, Justin.

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